Debt Collection Scams

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When someone calls you to collect on a bill, here are signs that they may be a scammer:

  • They want you to pay by money transfer or prepaid card
  • They threaten you with jail time or they say they are from the government
  • They ask you for confidential information, like your social security number or bank information

Holiday Club Bank Accounts

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Holiday club accounts automatically withdraw money from your checking account each month.  You get the total amount transferred to your checking account once you have met your goal.  There is usually a penalty for early withdrawal so make sure to read all about the plan before you start.


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A HELOC is a home equity line of credit.  A HELOC is actually not a loan, but a line of credit that is secured by your home.  You have to have enough equity in your home to get a HELOC.  The bank will look at the value of your home and how much you already owe on your mortgage.

Stay in Your Home

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If you have a mortgage and you have some financial problems, start exploring your options before you miss a mortgage payment.  Here are some options to avoid foreclosure:


Repayment Plan



Paying with a Credit Card Makes You Spend More Money

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If you pay with a credit card and not with cash, you will be willing to pay more.  The reason is that with credit cards, people look at a product’s benefits, and with cash, people look at a product’s cost.  When you use cash, you have to think about each bill.  When you use a card, you just swipe and you can think about the amount later.


Ability to Pay

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For certain types of loans, such as payday loans, a lender is required to verify your ability to pay.  They will ask about your income, monthly debt, and housing costs.  Consumers have been getting themselves into trouble by getting into roll over loans, where they roll over the old loan into a new loan, and keep paying fees.  To read more, copy and paste this address into your browser:


Local Housing Counselors

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If you are planning on buying a house in the near future or even just thinking about it, you can get valuable information by speaking with a housing counselor.  Check out the Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership at this website:

When to Cancel a Credit Card and When Not To

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If you pay an annual fee, and you don’t use the credit card, you are losing money on this credit card.  Don’t keep this card to build your credit score, it is a net loss.  Do you have a credit card that is your only credit card?  Then, don’t cancel this card.  Have at least one credit card for your credit file.

Credit Invisible

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If you are credit invisible, you don’t have a credit history.  If your credit file is too thin and you hardly have any credit, you are considered credit “unscorable.”  There are millions of people who are credit invisible and credit unscorable.  This can hurt you because you may not be able to get a car loan or get an apartment.

Student Loan Forgiveness for Teachers

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Teachers may be eligible for some federal loan forgiveness.  Check out the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program:



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